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Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama  By  cover art

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

By: Bob Odenkirk
Narrated by: Bob Odenkirk,Steve Rudnick,Leo Benvenuti
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Publisher's Summary

In this "essential" (Entertainment Weekly), "hilarious" (AV Club) memoir, the star of Mr. Show, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul opens up about the highs and lows of showbiz, his cult status as a comedy writer, and what it’s like to reinvent himself as an action film ass-kicker at 50.

“I’ve known Bob Odenkirk for more than 30 years, and yet I had to read this book to believe his stunning career arc.” (Conan O’Brien)

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2022 - Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Parade, The AV Club

Bob Odenkirk’s career is inexplicable. And yet he will try like hell to explicate it for you. Charting a “Homeric” decades-long “odyssey” from his origins in the seedy comedy clubs of Chicago to a dramatic career full of award nominations - with a side trip into the action-man world that is baffling to all who know him - it’s almost like there are many Bob Odenkirks! But there is just one and one is plenty.

Bob embraced a life in comedy after a chance meeting with Second City’s legendary Del Close. He somehow made his way to a job as a writer at Saturday Night Live. While surviving that legendary gauntlet by the skin of his gnashing teeth, he stashed away the secrets of comedy writing - eventually employing them in the immortal “Motivational Speaker” sketch for Chris Farley, honing them on The Ben Stiller Show, and perfecting them on Mr. Show with Bob and David.

In Hollywood, Bob demonstrated a bullheadedness that would shame Sisyphus himself, and when all hope was lost for the umpteenth time, the phone rang with an offer to appear on Breaking Bad - a show about how boring it is to be a high school chemistry teacher. His embrace of this strange new world of dramatic acting led him to working with Steven Spielberg, Alexander Payne, and Greta Gerwig, and then, in a twist that will confound you, he re-re-invented himself as a bona fide action star. Why? Listen to this and do your own psychoanalysis - it’s fun!

Featuring humorous tangents, wild characters, and Bob’s trademark unflinching drive, Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama is a classic showbiz tale told by a determined idiot.

©2022 Bob Odenkirk (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“I’ve known Bob [Odenkirk] for over 30 years, and yet I had to read this book to believe his stunning career arc. I can’t think of another entertainer who has improbably morphed so many times, and all through real genius and determination.”—Conan O’Brien

“Written before his heart attack, the actor's memoir was already appointment reading—he regales his audience with stories of his time coming up in Chicago's comedy scene and breaking into Hollywood—but now it feels even more essential.”Entertainment Weekly

“This book would have been welcome news no matter what, but it’s especially sweet following Odenkirk’s recovery from a scary July heart attack that saw the star collapse on the set. We’ll take all the Odenkirk we can get.”USA Today

What listeners say about Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama

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I didn't realize how Woke Odenkirk is...

For all the times Odenkirk claims to rail against convention and hack Hollywood bullshit, he equally contorts his narrative to confirm to Wokeness. He even refers to Hispanic people as the horrendously cringy "Latinx." I should have stopped listening right there but I make a special effort to take art at face value whether I agree with the politics of the artists or not. I can only be told that I am hatred so many times before I am out of checks to turn.

This is a return. I will not give money to Mr. Odenkirk any longer.

13 people found this helpful

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Meh, it’s ok—Everyman

Been a fan since Mr Show. Sketch comedy is underrated. Nobody was awesome and both appearances on Stern were Amazing. It’s all good Goodman.

7 people found this helpful

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Not great

Ugh. I hate saying this, because I love Bob in his shows. However, listening to him read was hard for me. I felt like he was just reading his words at times, not like HE was telling me his story. Found I was waiting (and wanting) for the book to be over so I could stop listening, but I paid for it so i was going to finish it. Hard to put my finger on why I didn't like it much. Sorry Bob, but I still love you bro!! LOL

6 people found this helpful

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a Must Read for comedy fans!

Bob appeared on Howard Stern to promote it, and I barely listened. got the title of the book and pre-ordered instantly. wonderful stories from one of my favorite people in the comedy world! I couldn't shut it off for long and finished it far too soon. I highly recommend!

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listen only if your an aspiring comedian

this is pretty irrelevant if your not an aspiring comedian. I also think Bob needs training as a narrator. I found it pretty boring and I don't understand his humor at all. saying that his story of working hard, keeping at it, and not seeking fame is great character traits and seems to me that he's a good person and I respect that.

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Insights on much more than Saul

I was hoping this book would be a detailed deconstruction of Saul/Jimmy McGill, and there is a little of that…maybe 20% of the book. It’s right there in the title…duh.

Instead, Bob Odenkirk provides a detailed itinerary and his personal struggles as he made his way through show business, with lots of emphasis on his early sketch loving self, how many things he’s created (many of which you likely never heard of) and his journey from comic performer to dramatic and action actor.

His struggles, failures and successes are told with a lot of humility, and it’s clear he’s thrilled how things have turned out for him. The amount of Hollywood politicism is limited to a few stray comments, and he even talks about why some actors spout off about politics, which is interesting and refreshing.

4 people found this helpful

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Comedy 101 by Bob Odenkirk

Bob I love your work and celebrate your success. You spend too much time attacking political beliefs of others which I find surprising.

In general this book could be a 101 textbook on the life of a dedicated comedian in Hollywood. How do you make it? What is the work like? What does it take?

Bob has his own flare, his experiences are unique, but he presents some great lesson that apply generally.

I also love Bob’s voice and was glad he was the reader. Congrats on putting this together I know it is a difficult task and I wish you well in your remaining career!

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Lots of narcissism and “Dad” hate…and comedy?

I loved this man until I read this. Absolutely woke to the highest level which is ok…but the blind hatred to Dads is uncomfortable and genuinely dumb

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OK this was a great book!

And of course you know for a fact NOBODY was a great film! I’d say it was perfect timing during the Covid lockdown. Anyway I love your point of view I love you sour and all. And you’re brilliant. And I love your work. And I love your book. Thank you very much for sharing.

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Love Bob but Wanted More Depth

I'm a big fan of Bob Odenkirk in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul." I'm also the kind of SNL fan who has watched almost every show since it hit the air in 1975 when I was 22. Even now, at age 69, I watch every week and I know every cast member. I get a kick out of Mr. Show skits and I am a humor writer. It's great to hear Bob narrating his own story. He tells us how it all happened and I did enjoy it, but I wanted a bit more inside baseball. Don't just tell me these guys you wrote with were funny; tell me what set them apart and why their humor worked? You think David Cross is hilarious? Why? Don't just tell me you wrote a funny skit in the writers' room, take me inside the process to show how the skit evolved from idea to performance, why some of it worked and why some parts were changed. What makes for good comedy? Bob lets us know several times that he is a good writer of comic material, but the book does not contain as many laughs as I expected. And when you make the turn to drama, what does it feel like to be in a specific scene in "Better Call Saul?" What are you feeling (and please use all five senses)? I'm glad I listened, because I am a fan, but I was left a little disappointed that the book wasn't as deep as it could have been.

1 person found this helpful